Penn State Eyes Rare Road Win
Penn State has won just one road game but that is a little deceiving. The Nittany Lions lost by two points at No. 11 Wisconsin and by six to Minnesota in the last two road contests. Maryland is one of two Big Ten teams with losing records at home so the Nittany Lions aren’t facing the most intimidating of home-court challenges on Monday.
Penn State is 4-7 in games decided by less than 10 points while Maryland is 6-7 in such games so this could easily be teamed with fighting to finish in the top half of the Big Ten standings instead of coming into this game in 10th and 12th place.
Penn State at Maryland Game Information
- Game: Penn State (11-12) at Maryland (12-14)
- Location: XFINITY Center, College Park, Md.
- Day/Time: Monday, 7 p.m. ET
- Television: ESPN2
Penn State: Much-Needed Laugher
More than a month had passed since the Penn State Nittany Lions won a game by more than four points, so not many people were anticipating them rolling to a 21-point win against Minnesota — even if the game was at home.
The previous six games played by Penn State were decided by a total of 17 points, with the Nittany Lions winning only twice.
Jalen Pickett had 20 points, the most he had scored since dropping 21 in a game against No. 3 Purdue.
Penn State senior guard Jalen Pickett produced a dominant offensive effort in a 67-46 win over Minnesota Thursday at the BJC.
— Blue White Illustrated (@PennStateOn3) February 18, 2022
The bigger news that the offensive performance by Penn State, the lowest-scoring team in Big Ten play.
The Nittany Lions had been held under 40 percent shooting five times in their previous eight games before connecting on 53.8 percent of their field goals in the 67-46 win.
“This is probably our best game of the year,” Pickett told the media after the game. “Just with the way we guarded, we held them like 20 points under from the last game, so I think we did a great job (on) the defensive end.”
The win came without second-leading rebounder Greg Lee, who has not played since Feb. 5 and is questionable to play against the Terrapins.
Penn State is 5-1 against the college basketball spreads in its last six games.
All Hands on Deck for Maryland
Perhaps it was the confidence gained in near upsets of nationally ranked Michigan State and Purdue, or the fact that Maryland was facing the last-place team in the Big Ten Conference. The offense was flowing, shots were falling and the Terrapins were rolling to a 90-74 win at Nebraska snapping a five-game losing streak.
Six players scored in double figures, the first time a Maryland team accomplished that since 2018 with Anthony Cowan (23 points) and Jalen Smith (20) both producing 20-point games. This was done despite Maryland missing 15 of its 19 3-point attempts. The Terrapins made up for that by making 67.5 percent of their shots inside the 3-point line. It was the first time that Maryland hit the 90-point mark in regulation in Big Ten play since defeating Iowa 91-74 on Jan. 7, 2018.
It was a strong showing but when it comes to March Madness predictions, the only tournament the Terrapins figure to be a part of is the Big Ten tourney.
Fatts Russell posted his third straight 20-point game and 97th double-digit scoring game of his career. He also has 14 assists and six steals over his last three games.
The Las Vegas odds total has gone under in four of the last time times that Maryland played host to Penn State.
Penn State at Maryland Head-to-Head
Penn State has won the last four meetings with Maryland and covered against the spread in all four games, although the Nittany Lions barely covered in the two 2021 matchups, winning by five as a three-point favorite at home and by five when Maryland was favored by 5½ points.
Each of the last two games went under the total as neither team topped 70 points. The last three meetings between the teams were decided by five, five and seven points.
Maryland is 4-1 at home against Penn State since 2015 but the loss came in the last contest.
Maryland has played in two of the last three NCAA tournaments, but it will take a conference tournament title run for Maryland or Penn State to see their names on the March Madness bracket.
Penn State at Maryland Prediction
This game could come down to ball security as Maryland and Penn State rank 12th and 13th in the Big Ten in assist/turnover ratio. It is also interesting that despite the different styles of play, the Nittany Lions and Terrapins have 113 3-pointers in 15 Big Ten games.
Before their last outings, it would have made sense for those who bet online to expect this game to go under the total, but with both teams coming off impressive showings, can they do it again?
Pick: Over 128½
Pick: Maryland Terrapins -3